There’s a popular product development comic that shows a picture of what a customer wants—a seat suspended from two lengths of rope hanging from a tree branch. As the comic progresses, you see each group working on their version of this product. You see different lengths of rope, no seat, or the rope and the seat on the ground, and so on. The joke is that in the end, all the customer really wanted was a simple, basic tree swing, but each team made it more complicated, adding unnecessary bells and whistles, or showing off engineering and design skills. Entrepreneurs know first-hand that this comic can be terrifyingly accurate, especially when you partner with multiple vendors bringing your own product to market.
Why is that?
At a high-level, you’re dealing with diverse groups who each have their own agenda and who don’t speak the same language. For every new vendor you add into a project, the potential for communication breakdown, misunderstanding, or problems increases exponentially. Everyone is familiar with their own capabilities but lack the context of how their contribution will fit with the other stages of development. The lack of continuity between disparate entities causes additional expenses, slipping of schedules, and unnecessary stress.
Let’s consider just one component in the product development lifecycle—Design:
Design teams love to “shoot for the moon.” If you ask them for a more perfect tree swing with no constraints, you may get a truly amazing design for a self-propelling, ergonomic leather seat, reclining tree swing complete with cup holders, a built-in refrigerator, massage capabilities, Internet, and streaming TV. However, what probably won’t occur to the design team is to find out if this can be built, if anyone would be able to afford it, or how strong the tree is that will hold this fantastic swing.
Without understanding the electronics manufacturing process, your typical design team won’t consider (or know) what restrictions may apply in your process or marketplace, the limitations of resources, and how to control development costs to take your product to market at an affordable price-point. And once you start down the road executing on that design, additional time and resources are spent fixing the situation and determining who is responsible for fixing your product.
Further, most stand-alone design teams are not going to be aware of, or considerate of, mandatory reviews, certifications, and requirements ahead of time, which may result in redesigns—leading to further delays and expenses to bring your product to compliance.
Additionally, when you have multiple points of communication, traditional messaging channels, and different vendors with their own agenda, passing design requirements and data between the teams can become cumbersome and inefficient, resulting in headaches and problems from inaccuracies, which then require additional oversight to fix.
When you use disparate teams, there are so many potential points of failure—and that’s just for one step in your project plan.
Having a full-service, end-to-end electronics manufacturing services provider is universally the best way to successfully implement your build, from conceptualization to execution. Consider all the benefits of a one-stop-shop providing a fully integrated solution:
- Cohesive communication across channels with one point of contact
- A highly-streamlined process resulting in faster time to market (and higher ROI)
- An established and intimate knowledge of the capabilities and limitation for each stage of development, including design, engineering, testing, legal requirements, and sourcing materials
- Focused accountability—no blame games or delays due to traditional communication channels between vendors means issues are resolved quickly
- A deeper understanding and investment in the success of the final product as every department is collaborating on the same end goal
An electronics manufacturer with an in-house design team such as ACDi means you are working with cohesive groups who each bring their own area expertise to the table and integrate the input to create a practical design, considering every step of the process as they plan. Engineering and manufacturing teams work in-tandem with the designers, providing feedback to improve performance, reduce costs, and eliminate potential manufacturing problems while still in the design phase. ACDi teams listen, translate, communicate, build-upon, refine, and—most importantly—collaborate, so you end up with the right tree swing that actually works.